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Too Old to Return to Nursing? Says Who?

Picture this: You’re sitting there, sipping your morning coffee, scrolling through the depths of the internet, when you stumble upon a headline about the nursing shortage. A thought flickers through your mind, “Maybe I could go back to nursing?” But just as quickly, another thought shadows it, “Am I too old for this?”

Let’s set the record straight—passion and compassion don’t expire in nursing. If you’re one of the many who’ve left the field and are now toying with the idea of returning, this one’s for you.

Busting Myths: Age is Just a Number

The most common myth that holds many back is the belief that there’s an age limit to re-entering the nursing profession. This is categorically not true. The nursing field values experience and your life skills can significantly enhance patient care. Plus, the demand for nurses is so high that many institutions are happy to welcome back seasoned professionals.

A Tale of Renewed Scrubs

Take Sarah, for example. After a 15-year hiatus raising her family, she doubted her place in a hospital. Yet, with encouragement and a bit of research, Sarah enrolled in a refresher course. Fast-forward a few months, and she’s back in scrubs, her experience as a mother adding a deeper layer of empathy to her patient care.

Navigating the Return: Charting Your Course Back to Nursing

So, metaphorically speaking, you’ve dusted off your nursing cap, and you’re ready to dive back in. But where do you start after a years-long absence? Here’s your roadmap:

Refresh Your Knowledge: Healthcare evolves rapidly, and staying updated is critical. Consider enrolling in an RN refresher certification program or online classes tailored for returning nurses. These programs are designed to update your skills and knowledge through theoretical content and hands-on clinical practice, making the transition smoother.

Re-certification: You may need to renew your license depending on how long you’ve been away. Check with your state’s nursing board for specific requirements. It might sound daunting, but remember, it’s just a step in the journey.

Networking and Mentorship: Reconnect with old colleagues or join nursing associations. Networking can open doors to opportunities and provide support. Finding a mentor who has walked the path can offer invaluable guidance and encouragement.

Volunteer: If you’re not ready to return to employment, volunteering can be a fantastic way to ease back into the healthcare environment. It’s also a great addition to your resume!

Part-time or Flex Roles: Consider starting with a part-time or flexible position. This can help you acclimate to the changes without overwhelming you.

Stories of Triumph: You’re Not Alone

Meet James, who returned to nursing at 55 after a decade in corporate America. James was apprehensive about fitting in but found his life experience was his greatest asset. He’s now a beloved figure in his unit, known for his calm demeanor and wise insights, proving it’s never too late.

And there’s Lisa, who thought technology had left her behind. Through a refresher course and some perseverance, she’s not only back in the game but also leading initiatives to integrate technology into patient care.

Conclusion: Your Time is Now

Returning to nursing is less about the time you’ve been away and more about the depth of care you bring back. The field needs you—your maturity, your life experience, and the unique perspective that comes with it.

So, to those pondering if they’re too old to return to nursing, we say: Age is, but a number, and your calling doesn’t have a shelf life. The path back might have a few new twists and turns, but your journey is still ongoing. It’s just beginning.



Rosa Elizabeth, CMRW
Rosa Elizabeth Vargas is a uniquely credentialed executive resume writer with four of the Career Industry’s Top Resume Writing Certifications. She also offers a robust corporate background, blending hiring management accountabilities and HR.

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